Friday, December 25, 2015

Taillight Mods

I got some Christmas presents yesterday that were upgrades for the Corvette. The first one is some kick panel pieces that are made out of polymer that protect the lower forward portion of the door panels. This area is titanium grey and is difficult not to hit with your shoes when exiting the car. The new pieces snap into place and require no modification to install.

The second item was replacement LEDs for the trunk lights in each corner of the hatch area along with some additional LED lights that mount under the hatch lip around the opening. Again no modifications needed to install.

The last item was something I have been looking at for some time. The taillights on the Corvette were tinted when I bought the car, whomever did it actually did a very good job. They are coated with some sort of translucent tint which gives them a black look but if you look at them up close you can see the red taillights. Tinted taillights are very controversial, I can only speak for my own experience of having them on the car for over 7 years, and putting over 40k miles on it during that time. Tinted or not I was looking at a way to add to the taillights, LEDs were one option but LED does not necessarily mean brighter and making the taillights brighter may only make it look like the brake lights are on. My solution was Orion SMD halo rings, the cost ($75.00 a ring) was what kept me only looking at them for the last few years. Two weeks ago I found them at a much reduced price so I bought a "kit" for my Corvette.

The kit consisted of no instructions for anything other than a generic wiring diagram basically explaining that LED's are polarity sensitive, who would have known!

The taillights on the Corvette are chemically bonded together so the only way to open them up is to cut them. For this I used a 1" dremel cutoff wheel with an arbor adapter that allowed me to use my pneumatic high speed. Once I had the first one open I noticed the taillights aren't actually round they have a slight oval to them.

The rings had 3M tape attached to them but there was nothing to attach the rings too. Instead I added a dab of 3M taillight repair adhesive the same thing I used to put the taillights back together.

The picture below is with the rings installed in the two left taillights. These are just taillights and independent of the brake light which is bright enough make the rings look like they shut off when the brake lights are on.

The last shot is of all four lights finished along with the new LED license plate lights I installed,

The camera on my iPhone really does not do them justice the difference is fairly dramatic.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

Yesterday reached a record high for this area of 64 degrees. Because it has been so warm here the last few days a good friend of mine contacted me to let me know he was going to do some shooting today. He has a nice 100 yard range in his back yard and lives just a couple miles from me, I haven't shot my pistol in a while so I grabbed Matty and we headed over this afternoon.

After we shot pistols for a while some other people stopped by with rifles and we set up a shooting bench at 50 yards. My friend had purchased some rimfire sensitive Tannerite that came with containers that look like the ones you would keep ear plugs in. These containers are just over one inch in diameter and put out a good boom. The video below is Matty shooting a Mossberg AR 22 at one of the reactive targets, its the yellow dot just to the right of center on the backstop.